Drought Forces GRDA To Ask For Federal Lake Level Exemption - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

NEWS: Drought

Drought Forces GRDA To Ask For Federal Lake Level Exemption

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File photo. File photo.
VINITA, Oklahoma -

The Grand River Dam Authority is asking the federal government to bend the rules in light of our recent drought.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requires Grand Lake water levels to go up in the summer, and down in the fall.

In August 2012, the GRDA asked for and received permission to forgo the drawdown of Grand Lake in the early fall.

"Last year, the FERC variance allowed us to respond to the drought in a way that balanced all the interests that depend on both our Grand and Hudson lakes," said GRDA Chief Executive Officer/Director of Investments Dan Sullivan. "We were able to complete our dissolved oxygen testing, continue reliable operations of our Salina Pumped Storage Project (located on the Saline Creek arm of Hudson) and maintain sufficient water levels for the many water districts that depend on Grand and Hudson for their supplies."

The continuing drought means GRDA is facing a similar issue for this year, and this year they're asking for two things: to be allowed to draw the lake up to above 742 feet from now until May 31, in the event of rain, so that extra water could be stored to bring the water up higher in the summer. Secondly, GRDA is asking against to be allowed to not draw down the lake in August.

GRDA submitted its request to FERC on March 4. A final decision is pending.

2/28/2013 Related Story: Trouble Not Over For Lone Chimney Lake, Despite Rain, Snow

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